Unconventional Cosmetic Surgery

Ilya Reyter, MD

Article by
Beverly Hills Dermatologist

There is no question that patients prefer minimally invasive procedures instead of larger, more invasive surgeries. Fortunately, we now have many wonderful products that allow physicians to make significant improvement in a person's appearance without resorting to traditional surgery.

As our experience with these minimally invasive products, such as Restylane and Botox, has grown, we have created new, somewhat unconventional uses for these agents.  While the uses are new, the results can be quite incredible.

Below are some newer, unconventional minimally invasive cosmetic surgery procedures:

Eyebrow fat injections for sagging upper eyelids – By studying MRI images of the aging face, we have found that one of the greatest changes in the aging face is the loss of facial fat and bone. It seems that fat and bone is reabsorbed by the body over time, deflating the face, and causing skin to sag and look wrinkled. So the answer is to restore the lost volume. Sagging upper eyelids are a very common condition in people as they age. Previously, the only treatment was to cut out eyelid skin. It turns out, however, that a much more natural looking result can be obtained by restoring the lost fat in the eyebrow area by fat transplantation. We take fat from one area of the body, like the stomach, and inject it directly beneath the eyebrow. This plumps up the skin, and lifts the upper eyelid. All this is done under local anesthesia, and takes less than an hour. The result is a restoration of a full, youthful appearance around the eyes, instead of the hollow, skeletonized look that often accompanies traditional surgery

Earlobe repair using fillers – Over time, women frequently get a distortion of the piercings in their ear. What begins as a perfect circular piercing can, over time, stretch and elongate, eventually looking more like a long sunken oval. Many women find this highly unpleasant. We used to treat this condition surgically, by cutting out the previous piercing, waiting for the skin to heal, and re-piercing the ears. What we found recently is that atrophy of the skin and loss of volume are the real culprits causing this condition. So we began injecting fillers like Restylane into the earlobe, and we have had wonderful results. The earlobes regain their youthful look, the piercing looks wonderful, and earrings once again fit properly.

Non-surgical nose straightening – Many of our younger patients, especially our celebrities, are intensely focused on the appearance of their nose. Their focus is justified, as the nose is the most prominent part of the face. Many people notice small imperfections but don't really want to go through major surgery. Many of their concerns are small bumps or divots that could easily be corrected with fillers. I began using fillers like Restylane and Perlane to fix these problems and the patients were thrilled with the results. Touch ups are done once or twice a year. Not only does this cost significantly less than surgery, but it is not permanent, and the final result is more natural looking and beautiful than many surgical corrections.

Fillers for lower eyelid bags - Lower eyelid bags used to be treated only with surgery. Now, everything has changed. We can now correct the appearance of bulging lower eyelids without cutting, and this has been extremely popular with our younger patients. We have found that adding tiny, precise quantities of volume to the lower eyelid and upper cheek will dramatically improve the condition. Surgical treatment often removed too much volume, leaving the person looking hollow or sunken around the eyes, giving them the opposite of a youthful appearance. What we achieve is a natural looking, non-surgical correction. We use either fillers of fat transfer, where we transfer fat from one part of the body to another. We can also use fillers and fat transfer to non-surgically correct prominent bumps on the nose and to add volume to the chin.

Botox for dimpled chins. The muscles of the chin tend to be overactive in some people, leading to dimples and irregularities of the overlying skin. Just a few units of Botox is generally enough to relax the muscles and restore a smooth appearance